A man who saw red when he discovered a text between a friend and his wife, declaring their undying love for each other, has been discharged without conviction on charges of assaulting the man, the defendant's wife, and one of his children in Queenstown this year.
In the Queenstown District Court yesterday Judge John Brandts-Giesen said it was a "nasty assault", but had to be seen in context.
"Really, this is a situation that does your wife no credit and does the [male] no credit."
The defendant, granted name suppression, was out with his wife, children and friend in the resort on September 14 when he spotted the text message.
Judge Brandts-Giesen said the man assaulted the friend and a struggle ensued. When the defendant's daughter tried to separate the pair, the defendant grabbed her by the throat, pushed her down and held her there.
When the defendant's wife intervened, he kicked her in the ribs, causing her to fall backwards.
The male complainant suffered scratches, and the defendant's daughter's neck was bruised.
Judge Brandts-Giesen said the 58-year-old, who did not recollect hurting his wife and daughter, had never been before the court.
"There would be many people who would have done exactly what you did, even though it may be against the law to do so.
"I consider that the consequences of a conviction are out of all proportion to what happened on this occasion."